Thinking about having sex?
Deciding whether you're ready for sex is a tough decision. Having sex isn't just about what you do with your body; it's about your feelings, your thoughts, your values, beliefs and self-esteem. If you are thinking about having sex, you need to ask yourself if your heart and mind are ready for it.
You aren't ready if:
- You're having sex because you want your partner to like you more or you think it will save your relationship
- You're too afraid or shy to get birth control
- You or your partner are too embarrassed or uncomfortable to use a condom
- You think everyone else is doing it and that you should too
Having sex when you're not ready can really complicate your life - it could mean an unplanned pregnancy, getting HIV/Aids or another sexually transmitted infection, or it could leave you feeling really bad about yourself and your relationships.
Still think you're ready?
If you are still planning to have sex, then you need to make sure that you are both willing to be responsible for your sexual behaviour. That means talking openly about all of the consequences, and planning ahead to avoid problems.
- You should be prepared to have safe sex (using condoms)
- Even if you and your partner have been together for a long time and even if one of you is taking the pill, it is really important to use a condom
- Several serious infections, including HIV and chlamydia, can exist in your body without any noticeable symptoms but they can make you very ill later on. More and more young people are infected every day in the UK, but a lot of them are still not using condoms.
If you are in a serious relationship and think you are ready for for sex without a condom you should both get tested for sexually transmitted infections.
- You can't make others responsible but you can take care of yourself.
If you have a question you want to ask in confidence, why not try our Ask Ali section (see link on the menu above).
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